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Musharaka [ Cooperation ]  Calligraphy by Khaled Al-Saai

Popular Culture and the Performing Arts

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A website for K-12 educators featuring innovative resource on the culture, geography, history and religions of the Middle East, including essays, classroom activities, downloadable multimedia content and interactive Google Earth tours.



© 2002

Courtesy of Courtesy of Marcel Khalife & Nagam Cultural Project

This clip is 10.07 megabytes in size

Running time is 10 minutes and 15 seconds

Marcel Khalife is joined by his son, Rami Khalife, on piano and Peter Herbert on double bass. This selection features a virtuoso performance by Khalife on the oud. “Passport� is also a poem by Mahmoud Darwish set to music. In it the passport serves as a symbol for the Palestinian stateless existence. The lyrics can be translated as follows:
They didn’t recognize me in the shadows
blotting out my colors in that passport.
To them my wound was an exhibit
for a snap-happy tourist.
They didn’t recognize me…
Oh don’t leave my palm without a sun,
for the trees and all the rain songs know me.
Don’t leave me pale like the moon!

All the birds that followed my hand
to the distant airport gate,
all the wheat fields all the prisons
all the white tombs
all the borders
all the waving handkerchiefs
and all the eyes
were with me, but
were dropped from my passport!

Stripped of a name, an identity?
On a soil I nourished with my own hands?
Job’s cry fills the sky:
Don’t make me an example twice!

My gentlemen! My prophets,
don’t ask the trees for their names.
Don’t ask the valleys who their mother is.
From my forehead bursts the sword of light,
And from my hand springs the river.

All the people’s hearts
are my nationality.
So rid me of this passport!

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